Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Course No. 3541
Professor Bob Brier, Ph.D.
Long Island University
Share This Course
4.9 out of 5
80 Reviews
91% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 3541
Video Streaming Included Free

What Will You Learn?

  • How to read and write words and sentences in hieroglyphic script.
  • How to count in ancient Egyptian, and how to write fractions.
  • How to use hieroglyphs to describe events in the past tense.
  • To decipher the meaning of hieroglyphs found on relics from the tomb of King Tut.
  • The story of how archaeologists and scholars first deciphered hieroglyphs.

Course Overview

Ancient Egyptian civilization is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating chapters in human history. While remnants of the culture like temples, obelisks, and sarcophagi continue to mystify us, you can unlock their true meaning if you know how to read hieroglyphs.

To the untrained eye, this ancient writing system looks like artful decoration, a random scattering of stylized ducks, suns, eyes, hands, chairs, and feathers. But to Egyptologists like Dr. Bob Brier of LIU Post—a noted public educator known as “Mr. Mummy” and a popular Great Courses professor—hieroglyphs are the gateway to understanding ancient Egypt, from its religious beliefs to its cosmological ideas to the legacies of its great pharaohs.

In short, they’re the closest we can get to truly resurrecting the lives of ancient Egyptians.

Although hieroglyphs are a dead language, there are many reasons why learning to read and write hieroglyphs can be rewarding. An understanding of hieroglyphs can take you beyond the surface-level appreciation of viewing artifacts and historic sites, bringing you closer to the real people of an ancient civilization. Plus, the transformation of spelling and grammar into a dynamic pictorial code presents a challenging intellectual puzzle for lifelong learners of all ages. In learning hieroglyphs, you will actually decipher symbols and text, which makes learning this new language enjoyable and exciting!

In Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Professor Brier offers you the key to unlocking the mysteries of this amazing ancient language. Making this seemingly complex code accessible to anyone with a willingness to learn, his 24 lectures cover the basics of reading and writing hieroglyphs, including vocabulary words, number systems, and sentence structure. They also put your newfound knowledge to work, as you translate hieroglyphs found on some of ancient Egypt’s most intriguing sites and artifacts, from the Rosetta Stone to the temples at Abu Simbel to the tomb of Tutankhamen. Professor Brier opens up startling new worlds of discovery that will bring you closer than ever to a civilization that’s captivated us for millennia—and that will continue to do so for a long time to come.

Learn How to Read and Write Hieroglyphs

When learning to read and write Egyptian hieroglyphs, where does one start? Like any language, it’s critical to begin at the most fundamental level: the alphabet.

Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs is a primer on the ins and outs of the ancient Egyptian language. By approaching the topic in a straightforward manner, you’ll be surprised at just how quickly translating these curious symbols becomes second nature.

After learning the three ways hieroglyphs were used in ancient Egypt (to represent a sound, to clarify a word’s meaning, to represent a concept all by itself), you’ll go step-by-step through the ancient Egyptian alphabet. Professor Brier teaches you not only how to draw each hieroglyph, but how to pronounce them and organize them into entire sentences.

But make no mistake: This isn’t just about writing your name in hieroglyphs. You’ll learn much more.

  • Build an Egyptian vocabulary. Every lecture comes with a wealth of new vocabulary words for you to pronounce, write, and use. You’ll also discover the meaning behind these hieroglyphs. For example, the hieroglyph for the season “summer” (consisting of drawings of a pool, water, and the sun) which might indicate an absence of water.
  • Write Egyptian sentences: Professor Brier teaches you how to organize hieroglyphs into sentences that express original thoughts. You’ll learn how to draw and arrange pronouns and possessives; how to write in the past tense; how to turn a sentence into a negative statement; how to read the names of the pharaohs; and more.
  • Count Egyptian numbers: Numbers were essential to ancient Egypt’s agricultural economy. As you’ll discover, different symbols were used to denote different quantities. A stroke was “1,” a hoop was “10,” a coiled rope was “100,” a lotus flower was “1,000,” and the god Heh stood for “1 million.”

Above all, Professor Brier wants to give you not just an appreciation of hieroglyphs, but a working knowledge of them. That’s where practice comes in. Each lecture in this course begins or ends with a series of short, fun translation exercises (also included in the course guidebook) to help familiarize you with the concepts you explore in that particular lesson.

Unearth the Story of Hieroglyphs

As you progress from the alphabet to complex sentences, you’ll also uncover some fascinating historical insights into hieroglyphs.

  • Why did the language disappear, and how it was rediscovered by explorers like Jean-François Champollion?
  • What was life like for the Egyptian scribes who recorded everything from battlefield casualties to prayers for the dead?
  • Why were some of the first attempts to translate hieroglyphics unsuccessful?
  • How did ancient Egyptians use their calendar, and how do modern Egyptologists use it to determine precise dates for events?

Translate the Writings on Archaeological Finds

Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs is also an opportunity to interpret actual inscriptions found on Egyptian temples and objects. As Professor Brier builds your confidence in reading hieroglyphs, you’ll steadily move toward translating everything from the names of gods and pharaohs to special prayers and magic spells.

Like a great tour guide, Professor Brier brings you up close and personal with some of the most fascinating archaeological finds from hundreds of years of exploration.

  • King Tut’s tomb: Professor Brier devotes several lectures to perhaps the most important discovery in all of Egyptology. You’ll translate hieroglyphs from some of the many relics found in the pharaoh’s tomb, including a mirror used during Tutankhamen’s life, and the inside lid of his sarcophagus, inscribed with words spoken by the god Anubis.
  • Queen Meret’s pectoral: This brooch-like piece of jewelry isn’t mere decoration. It’s also powerful political propaganda. The queen’s pectoral proclaims the greatness of Amenemhet III as the lord of Upper and Lower Egypt and all foreign lands, and asserts his protection by Nekhbet when venturing off into battle.
  • Sneferu stela: The pharaoh most directly responsible for Egypt’s grand pyramid-building projects was Sneferu. As you pore over inscriptions on a stela named after him, you’ll witness the development of four of the five titles used to describe a king: the “Horus” name, the “King of Upper and Lower Egypt” name, the “Two Ladies” name, and the “Golden Horus” name.

Learn from an Acclaimed Egyptologist

Beloved by Great Courses customers for his dynamism and depth of knowledge, Professor Brier is the best hieroglyphics instructor you could have. Blending language and history, his lectures are a testament to his popularity with the public and his respect among Egyptologists. He brings the same skills to Decoding the Secret of Egyptian Hieroglyphs that he has to his National Geographic television special, Mr. Mummy, his TLC series, The Great Egyptians, and his popular books, including The Murder of Tutankhamen: A True Story and Egyptomania.

At the start of the course, Professor Brier recounts the ancient Egyptian saying, “To say the name of the dead is to make him live again.” Whether he’s unpacking the importance of the scarab beetle hieroglyph, explaining the reason why most of us mispronounce the names of Egyptian pharaohs, or detailing the secret messages inscribed on King Tut’s funerary mask, Professor Brier not only makes ancient Egyptians live again—he does something even more memorable: He allows them to speak in their own words.

And now you can, too.

Hide Full Description
24 lectures
 |  Average 31 minutes each
  • 1
    Why Egypt Needed Hieroglyphs
    Before learning how to read and write hieroglyphs, you have to understand why ancient Egypt had to invent some form of writing. Central to this introductory lecture is a study of the Narmer Palette, whose writing would set standards and conventions that would be followed for 3,000 years. x
  • 2
    The Ancient Egyptian Alphabet
    It's time to learn the hieroglyphic alphabet. Professor Brier shows you how to write each hieroglyph and how to position them, including a stylized hand (D"), a horned viper ("F"), and two hieroglyphs for which English doesn't have a letter. Then, transcribe your name from English to ancient Egyptian." x
  • 3
    How a Language Becomes Lost
    How is it possible for a language used by the world's greatest civilization to become lost? The answer, you'll learn, involves charting the rise and fall of ancient Egypt's spectacular kingdoms, as well as investigating the ways Christianity replaced hieroglyphs with Greek letters. x
  • 4
    Napoleon in Egypt
    Explore how hieroglyphs, and the ability to read them, was rediscovered during Napoleon's invasion of Egypt. Along the way, you'll consider the birth of Egyptology and the role of ushabtis, statues of servants buried with prominent Egyptians so they could avoid having to work in the next world. x
  • 5
    Early Attempts to Decipher the Rosetta Stone
    With the discovery of the Rosetta Stone by the French, the process of deciphering hieroglyphs could begin. But early attempts were thrown off by what Professor Brier calls the Big Mistake". Here, examine the reasons why so many scholars made the error of treating hieroglyphs like picture writing. " x
  • 6
    William Bankes and the Keys to Decipherment
    Learn how several key discoveries showed how to decipher hieroglyphs the right way, and also shaped our understanding of ancient Egypt. First: a bilingual obelisk that extended the Egyptian alphabet. Second: the Hall of Ancients", which contained the longest list of pharaohs ever discovered." x
  • 7
    Jean-Francois Champollion Cracks the Code
    Meet Jean-Francois Champollion, the first man in 2,000 years to read hieroglyphs and correct the Big Mistake". After studying Champollion's vital contribution to the field, you'll spend time learning how to read and write biliterals: hieroglyphs that represent two sounds, one after the other." x
  • 8
    Suffix Pronouns and the Hieroglyphs of Ptah
    In the first half of this lecture, learn how to work with suffix pronouns (which, unlike in English, are the same for possessive and nominative). Then, discover what hieroglyphs reveal about the role of the creator god Ptah in Egyptian religion-and his close connection with writing and words. x
  • 9
    The Immortal Scribe
    First, continue working on suffix pronouns with several English-to-hieroglyph sentence translations. Then, unpack the hidden meaning of the scarab beetle hieroglyph (kheper). Finally, learn about the scribes responsible for writing everything from cattle inventories to Books of the Dead, then learn about the medium on which they wrote, papyrus. x
  • 10
    Hieroglyphs and the Bible
    After giving you a few more pointers on suffix pronouns (including an unusual feature of the Middle Egyptian language), Professor Brier invites you to do a little applied hieroglyphs. How does a little knowledge of hieroglyphs help us answer some biblical questions about iconic events from the book of Exodus? x
  • 11
    Dependent Pronouns and the Passive Voice
    Dependent pronouns, as you'll learn, don't have to be added onto any other word; they stand alone and are usually the object of the verb. From there, you'll consider the first expedition to copy hieroglyphs (epigraphy), and learn about a current program designed to save inscriptions on fragile temple walls. x
  • 12
    Past Tense and Adjectives
    Start working with the past tense in your hieroglyphic sentences (the secret involves tacking a water sign onto a verb). Then, expand your Egyptian vocabulary to include new biliterals, as well as adjectives like evil" and "excellent." Also, learn how to use adjectives as modifiers, predicates, and nouns." x
  • 13
    New Ideograms Related to the Gods
    From suns and pillars to flagpoles and scepters, uncover what the hieroglyphs of gods reveal about ancient Egyptian thought and belief. For example, flagpoles were the ideogram for god" (pronounced netcher) and ram-headed scepters (pronounced was) were representations of power inspired by the god Amun." x
  • 14
    Names of the Pharaohs
    Learn how the kings of Egypt wrote their names. Using the Sneferu stela as a guide, examine the development of a pharaoh's five royal titles: the Horus" name, the "King of Upper and Lower Egypt" name, the "Two Ladies" name, the "Golden Horus" name, and the "Son of Re" name." x
  • 15
    Ancient Egyptian Numbers
    Learn the Egyptian way of writing whole numbers and fractions, which were used to keep track of everything from taxes to dates when the Nile would rise. Also, visit the mortuary temple of Ramses III, where a pile of hands reveals how many enemy soldiers were killed in battle. x
  • 16
    The Egyptian Calendar
    Explore why the calendar was crucial to Egypt's success as a nation, and learn how the civilization divided a year into months and seasons based on the activity of the Nile River. Then, find out how Egyptologists use ancient Egyptian calendars to pinpoint dates. x
  • 17
    Names of the Gods
    By understanding hieroglyphic names of gods and goddesses, you can read the stories told on temple walls. Among the pantheon of deities you'll learn to recognize are Isis and Osiris, Atum (the first terrestrial god), and the earth and sky gods Geb and Nut. x
  • 18
    Negation in Ancient Egyptian Sentences
    How do you say no" in ancient Egyptian? The answer, it turns out, involves knowing how to use (and draw) your arms. After practicing your skills at negation, you'll follow Professor Brier on a study tour of amulets (for both the dead and living) as "three-dimensional" hieroglyphs." x
  • 19
    Reading Hieroglyphic Jewelry
    With your newfound knowledge of hieroglyphs, decipher what several pieces of exquisite ancient jewelry say-and why they're more than just pretty, decorative baubles. The jewels you examine include a pectoral worn by Queen Meret (used as political propaganda) and one worn by Princess Sat-Hathor (used for protection). x
  • 20
    Palimpsests: When Scribes Make Mistakes
    What happens when a scribe makes a mistake-especially when the hieroglyph is carved in stone? How do modern archaeologists know how to recognize errors? Using inscriptions on the Pyramid of Unas and at Abydos Temple, explore the topic of palimpsests, the writing of one text over another. x
  • 21
    An Ancient Egyptian Prayer for the Dead
    Enter the temples and tombs of the ancient Egyptians and explore some of the fascinating hieroglyphic prayers inscribed on their walls. Central to this lecture is a standard prayer for the dead that started in the Old Kingdom: the Hotep-di-nesu, which asked the king to grant an offering to Osiris. x
  • 22
    Translating the Tomb of Perneb
    Join Professor Brier for an in-depth tour of the Tomb of Perneb's hieroglyphs-specifically those in its chapel, or mastaba. What lies behind the false door" common to chapels like this? Why were ka-priests so important to the afterlife of the wealthy? " x
  • 23
    Translating Tutankhamen's Tomb
    In the first of two lectures on the most famous find in all archaeology, learn the story of the excavation of King Tut's tomb. Then, translate some of the inscriptions on the gilded shrines in the Egyptian ruler's burial chamber (among them: messages by carpenters for use in construction). x
  • 24
    King Tut's Magic Mirror and Sarcophagus
    Decode and understand the inscriptions on two astonishing artifacts: a magic mirror used during Tutankhamen's lifetime and the lid of the pharaoh's sarcophagus. Then, conclude the course with suggestions on how to continue studying hieroglyphs, including scholarly resources and translation tips. x

Lecture Titles

Clone Content from Your Professor tab

What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 24 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 24 lectures on 4 DVDs
  • 280-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
  • Closed captioning available

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 280-page printed course guidebook
  • How to Draw Hieroglyphs
  • English to Hieroglyph and Hieroglyph to English Dictionary
  • Vocabulary

Enjoy This Course On-the-Go with Our Mobile Apps!*

  • App store App store iPhone + iPad
  • Google Play Google Play Android Devices
  • Kindle Fire Kindle Fire Kindle Fire Tablet + Firephone
*Courses can be streamed from anywhere you have an internet connection. Standard carrier data rates may apply in areas that do not have wifi connections pursuant to your carrier contract.

Your professor

Bob Brier

About Your Professor

Bob Brier, Ph.D.
Long Island University
Dr. Bob Brier is an Egyptologist and Senior Research Fellow at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. He earned his bachelor's degree from Hunter College and Ph.D. in Philosophy from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Brier has twice been selected as a Fulbright Scholar and has received Long Island University's David Newton Award for Teaching Excellence in recognition of his achievements as a...
Learn More About This Professor
Also By This Professor


Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 80.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love Dr Brier He is an enthusiastic lecturer, and clearly knows how to explain a challenging subject in an understandable manner. You have to do your homework and study between lectures to better master the content. This is a great entry course in middle Egyptian hieroglyphs that will allow you to better enjoy and understand Egyptian antiquities, and even read bits of them. Note that the professor uses a more phonetic English transliteration than the standardized Romanization that others use, but it wasn't hard to switch when I finished this course and moved to other material. That said, this course is only scratching the surface. Please add a part 2! Part 3!! Dr Brier is so much more fun than working through a text on my own.
Date published: 2019-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bob Brier hits the bull's eye ! The brilliant, inimitable Professor Bob Brier does it again ! In this course he presents the engaging and fascinating world of Egyptian hieroglyphs. Bob's style is friendly and fluent; he brings with him decades of knowledge and experience, in the field and in the classroom. Over the years, I have accumulated a nice little library of publications on Egyptology, have studied several courses in the old language of the Pharaohs, and can state, without question, that this is the finest course yet, and The Teaching Company must be congratulated on making it available to the public. The course is a superb and entertaining achievement by the affable Bob Brier. Recommended unhesitatingly. Go for it !!
Date published: 2019-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favorite Great Course. I have read about hieroglyphs off and on for years but could make no progress because I am not good at memorization, but I'm finding that Prof. Brier's method helps me by having me say the represented sounds, so some are sticking (only on lesson 10 so far). And the writing homework practice has made my jotting of the glyphs fairly easy. I don't expect to gain a scholar's accuracy or competence, just a casual familiarity, and for now I'm contented to skip over the more scholarly phonetic transcription methods -- I can fine tune that later if I accomplish this course. I rely on the printed manual as well as the downloaded pdf version for reviewing and homework. I also copy the text and pronunciation of sentences into a table in one column and then capture the hieroglyphs with a graphics program from a print screen for the adjacent column. So I can practice saying and translating the sentences again compiled on my printed sheets. The manual helps immeasurably, although I have found some errors for which I could compensate because of the lessons. The video is fine and I enjoy the production graphics as well as Brier's style and application of the Egyptian language in historical context. I love having the DVDs to play on the computer whenever life doesn't interrupt me as it did for about a year after I bought the course.
Date published: 2019-03-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from very happy with video. very disappointed with manual! Manual was so small I had to use a magnifying glass and still had trouble. Why not load the manual as a PDF on the DVD then I could run my own copy. Do you have the manual files for download? Ron Ross
Date published: 2019-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very instructive as well as entertaining At 64 years old, I thought this would be a fun course to take to help exercise my aging mind and give me something different to learn. Although I haven't completed the course yet, I have thoroughly enjoyed the material up to this point. I find the information fascinating and the instructor great a presenting the material. After the second lesson I already learned that the shirt I purchased in Egypt years ago with my name embroidered with hieroglyphs has my name spelled wrong! Doing the exercises at the end of the lessons is like doing a puzzle. When I finish the course I want to obtain additional books if necessary and start trying to translate some of the hieroglyphs from the pictures I took while in Egypt. In addition, this course will help one with his or her artistic skills when drawing the hieroglyphs to make sentences. I am really glad I purchased this course and this is one language that is fun to learn since you don't have to worry about speaking the language.
Date published: 2019-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very pleased with course content. I have enjoyed the course structure. The interaction with the course is very helpful. The progression of materials and historical asides serve to expand and reinforce learning. Prof. Bob Brier does an excellent presentation and course structure. It is rewarding to learn language from a milestone in human developement.
Date published: 2019-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Never thought I can achieve this Dr. Brier helped me to realize my teenage dream! After 9 months of diligently going through the course & the exercises, I can now read/recognize basic texts and temple inscriptions and write basic sentences. I was blown away with the accessibility and ease when introducing the alphabet & the grammar. Thank you, D.r Brier, from the bottom of my heart!
Date published: 2019-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Title attracts it is well organized and presented. Enclosed videos fit the presentation.
Date published: 2018-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun thing to learn I was wanting something to keep my brain cells activated, and this course is just the thing! The history part is fascinating but it's the learning how to read and write that provides the challenge. The pace is great, it takes me about 2 days between lessons to write things down, do the homework and absorb what I have learned. Maybe it's not the most useful thing to know, but sure is fun.
Date published: 2018-09-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Introduction to Hieroglyphs I have been working on this course for a while on the Amazon Great Courses channel and decided to purchase it. I am so glad I did. For anyone interested in learning hieroglyphs, this is a good starting place.
Date published: 2018-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent and fun! I love Dr. Briar’s approach; providing a history of the subject as background to the language lesson. This “dead language” has never been more alive to me!
Date published: 2018-08-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Egyptian Hieroglyphs sound effects annoy the stude This is an excellent course and is presented by Bob Brier, one of the greats of the teaching community. Unfortunately, The Teaching Company put many sound effects in the track and some excessive pictures which distract and annoy the student--me anyway. There is no way to turn them off and I think they are the product of the "service" economy---creating a job where there is no job. We are not children watching cartoon animations. This detracts from what the French call "the formation of the serious intellectual". .
Date published: 2018-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great way to learn meaning and use of hieroglyphs Nice course to accompany study of history of Ancient Egypt. Subject matter is presented clearly and progressively. Video makes drawing the glyphs and their proper sequence very clear. Instructor extremely knowledgeable and presents the material clearly.
Date published: 2018-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing teacher! Bob Brier really knows how to present a topic that could easily become dry and too complex on less capable hands. His delightful story telling abilities add wonderful context to each lesson and he clearly understands that a comfortable pace is crucial to the success of us, his students. My gratitude and appreciation to an extraordinary teacher.
Date published: 2018-03-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great fun! Dr. Brier has an engaging style that makes this arcane subject matter fun and unintimidating. The workbook is the best one of the Great Courses I've received in the past.
Date published: 2018-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! I love this course, and I have watched the four sections many times staying up well into the early hours of the morning. The good Professor is entertaining complete with grammatical excercises and historical points of interest. My fascination with Hieroglyphs has not waned now at the age of 52, after so long when I first studied the language at the age of 20 while still at University. Unbelievable!y
Date published: 2018-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The teacher was excited about his subject. I think you should keep your reveiw stort and not try to dig every little cuneal out of my ---.
Date published: 2018-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great information and well presented Dr. Brier does a wonderful presentation in his lectures and I learned so much without realizing it. He interjects many stories and interesting anecdotes that help in remembering the facts and discoveries. These are the best Great Courses courses I've had so far! Loved it!!
Date published: 2018-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Entertaining as well as informative. The presenter is a wonderful speaker and has a vast knowledge of the subject matter. The pacing of the content is very good and it is far better than any reference books.
Date published: 2017-12-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well presented, easier than I thought to learn to I love to learn new languages and speak and read five, but never considered learning a dead language before seeing this course offering. I thought it would be challenging and fun to try to read tomb inscriptions, and it has been both, but easier than I originally thought. The lessons flow logically and the professor gives just enough in each lesson so as not to discourage the student from proceeding. I found by lesson 10 that lo and behold I could actually read the hieroglyphs.!’m motivated to continue on to see how much more I can accomplish. If I can master this at age 73 i’ll Stave off dimentia yet!! While I don’t plan on doing anything with this it has been fun to know I can master and discover new wonders at my advanced age—I took the calculus course for the same reason— got to keep the mind agile and enjoy the wonders wrought by geniuses over the centuries.
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating. A lot of history as a bonus. And this is a real language grammar course.
Date published: 2017-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoying the course! I was interrupted in my study of this course which has made it a bit more difficult, but I am enjoying the course! I would suggest the student make flash cards of the vocabulary for each lesson to help. One note I do have is that not every word presented within the lessons is listed at the back which sometimes makes it difficult to refind a word. Overall, I liked the course both the language study and the history. I would rate the course 4 1/2 stars.
Date published: 2017-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unique! I purchased this course a couple of weeks ago and I'm enjoying it immensely! Professor Brier is taking me on an amazing adventure into the past, into Middle Egyptian culture as well as the writing system. A renowned Egyptologist, Dr. Brier presents the course in clear, simple language. He teaches how to write each hieroglyph in slow, simple steps. As well, he explains the meaning of each one in great detail, along with the meanings of other symbols. I've always been fascinated with languages and the cultures they represent; Dr. Brier is providing me with an entirely new perspective into the mysterious beauty of Ancient Egypt.
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from O scribes, pick up your brushes! I learned the Egyptian alphabet when I was about 10 years old, wrote family and friends' names using it, then forgot about learning more about hieroglyphs until 40 years later, when I saw this on special offer. From the first lecture I was hooked. I'm used to great presenters on the Great Courses but Bob Brier has to be near the top. What a warm, genuine, knowledgeable man. A previous, clearly well-read, reviewer has pointed out some flaws with the course, but having gone through the whole lecture series twice I want to add my views to his to present the perspective of the neophyte. First, contrariwise, I think it was a good idea for professor Brier to use the Latin alphabet alone with no diacritic marking above and below letters. For those users who just want an overview of hieroglyphs then it is sufficient; those wanting to go on and develop their knowledge by reading other books should have no problem learning the extra symbols. I know I haven't. Secondly, although there are examples of mistaken symbols on screen and in the lecture notes, I never found these to be other than a very minor inconvenience. The proof reading of the screen captions and notes could sometimes have been more thorough, but this is nowhere near being a decisive negative factor. Thirdly (SPOILER ALERT!) I didn't find having the names of the production team in hieroglyphs in the background at all annoying. On the contrary, I thought it was intriguing and fun. And while I'm on the subject of the production team, this has to be one of the most beautiful looking Great Courses out there, with a gorgeous background colour scheme for the symbols and crystal clear maps and diagrams. This course will teach you the ability to translate common, mostly funerary, motifs, give you a taste of Egyptian sentence structure and grammar, and teach quite a bit of the social context of hieroglyphs along with their decipherment. I have found it a very solid base on which to build as I slowly, but enjoyably, plod my way though the more advanced texts recommended by Professor Brier. A wonderful course.
Date published: 2017-08-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Wonderful! I've wished to read and understand hieroglyphs since childhood. This course was the fulfillment of a dream. I did not follow Dr. Brier's instructions against binge-watching the lectures, as in his courses this is impossible. The material is too fascinating, and he is too compelling a lecturer. However, by the last lecture I understood and had committed to memory many of the hieroglyphs even without doing the homework. And the course is so enjoyable that I immediately watched it a second time, doing the homework as advised! Dr. Brier makes learning to read and write hieroglyphs fun and easy. The material taught and assigned as homework were the actual hieroglyphs I've always so wished to understand!
Date published: 2017-07-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Appreciating Hieroglyphs In my opinion, the best things about Dr. Brier’s course on Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs were: * The professor was unfailingly cheerful, personable, engaging, and encouraging. * The course was a great deal of fun. * Accompanying visuals for the lectures were plentiful, appropriate, and often beautiful. * Beyond just learning about how to read and write hieroglyphs, I learned a lot about Egyptian history. * Dr. Brier’s concluding lecture #24, conducted as a graduation ceremony for his “DVD students,” was unique and entertaining. * I now find that I want to learn more about the subject matter, and I have ordered additional reference books. It is perhaps the truest indicator of worthwhile instruction when an ongoing interest is instilled in the student. Unfortunately, I noted too may discrepancies or errors in this course to rate it as across-the-board excellent in every respect. For example, “answers” given for sample sentences that had been assigned for translation didn’t always truly match the sentences that had been assigned. Another example: an equation meant to illustrate hieroglyphic arithmetic was simply incorrect in both the lecture and the guidebook. The occurrence of errors per se is excusable, but the frequency of errors that occurred in the present course did disappoint me. This overall delightful course deserved better post-production checking or beta testing.
Date published: 2017-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Accurate regarding course content The reason I purchased the course was because I had been to Luxor where Hieroglyphs were present everywhere. I had no idea of their meaning and felt I was missing a significant aspect of the tour. I purchased the course to satisfy my curiosity and was very pleased with the content of the course. I must confess that I did not do any of the assigned homework because what I wanted was just to understand Hieroglyphs as they were decoded by Professor Brier.
Date published: 2017-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I always wanted to understand the beautiful writing that was associated with all Egyptian artifacts. This class gives a firm foundation (as long as you actually do the homework) to the reading of hieroglyphs. The lessons are easy and very informative. Dr. Bob Brier knows his subject and teaches it well.
Date published: 2017-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceeded my expectations I am an Ancient Egyptophile and I enjoyed it very much. It became a little too detailed for my needs as it progressed, but I would highly recommend it for anyone who is fascinated by the art and culture of ancient Egypt.
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The course was excellent. I would suggest, however, that you get the book on which the course is based, Egyptian Grammar by Gardener, in order to get the maxim value.
Date published: 2017-07-02
  • y_2019, m_10, d_17, h_17
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_2.0.13
  • cp_2, bvpage2n
  • co_hasreviews, tv_5, tr_75
  • loc_en_US, sid_3541, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.0
  • CLOUD, getContent, 80.2ms

Questions & Answers

Customers Who Bought This Course Also Bought

Buy together as a Set
Save Up To $12.00
Choose a Set Format